Prison sentences for cruelty to animals could go from 6 months to 5 years

New legislation has recently seen the maximum sentence of six months to five years pass for cruelty to animals.

The bill was tabled in Parliament on June 26, 2019, and saw a significant increase over the previous six-month maximum.

This idea was advanced following a public consultation in 2018, when more than 70% of the population demanded heavier prison sentences for those found guilty of animal abuse.

Minister of Animal Welfare David Rutley said, “This increase in maximum sentences will significantly deter cruelty and neglect in the future. This measure builds on recent positive measures to protect animals, including the prohibition of sales of puppies and kittens to third parties and the prohibition of the use of wild animals in circuses. ”

Courts will be able to take stronger action in extreme cases of abuse and neglect. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, “There is no place in this country for animal cruelty. Our new bill sends a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated, with the maximum penalty of five years being one of the toughest sentences in Europe. ”

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